April 28, 2017 10:46
South Korea on Thursday unveiled a driverless boat that will carry out surveillance and reconnaissance missions in waters near the Northern Limit Line, the de facto sea border with North Korea.
The so-called unmanned surface vehicle has been christened Haegeom. It is powered by a computer and capable of patrolling waters and even engaging in combat with machine guns without any crew on board.
The Defense Acquisition Program Administration showcased the USV at a naval base in Busan. It said the Haegeom is also capable of avoiding obstructions in the sea and pursuing illegal fishing boats on the move.
It is 8 m long, weighs 3 tons, and can sail at a maximum speed of 30 knots (54 km/h).
The project started in December 2015. DAPA will now test the USV in waters near the NLL and off naval bases from May to July.
DAPA hopes that it can prevent close-range maritime skirmishes that cause heavy casualties, like a clash at Yeonpyeong in 2002.
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